Alva Review-Courier -

Getting back to normal at Share Medical Center


Share Medical Urgent Care is back in their usual location at the hospital. Appointments are still required by calling 327-2800. Entry will be through the hospital front doors.

Urgent Care is moving back into their regular space at Share Medical Center in Alva, according to Share CEO Kandice Allen. She told the Alva Hospital Authority (AHA) Tuesday evening that Urgent Care would start seeing patients in their regular quarters on April 29.

Urgent Care will still operate on an appointment only basis, and no one may accompany patients over age 18 unless the patient needs assistance. Patients will enter through the front door of the hospital instead of waiting in their cars or going through the emergency room to be triaged or assessed.

The physician's clinic at the hospital continues to book regular appointments with patients.

Allen said although three positive cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in Alva, all of the individuals showed no symptoms and none had to be hospitalized. The last few weeks have been "very slow," but over the next couple of weeks they'll be transitioning "back to normal." Patients will still be required to wear masks when entering. After a couple of weeks, Allen said, they will reevaluate.

The hospital is considering the purchase of a couple of items to be used for disinfecting, not only for COVID but for everything else. They are looking at a couple of ultraviolet type systems, one for the emergency room and one for the general hospital area.

"We learned a lot during the last month, and we feel we can safely take care of patients despite knowing that we've probably got COVID in the community," Allen said. "It's something we're going to have to learn to deal with until a vaccine is approved." The hospital will continue to take appropriate precautions, she said, and is looking forward to getting back to normal.

In her written report to the AHA, Allen highlighted progress on the technical front. Access points were set up at the hospital, nursing home and Homestead to allow assessment of possible COVID-19 patients in their cars using telemedicine.

The hospital and nursing home have used the Zoom app to help families communicate with relatives they couldn't visit. Zoom was also used for some meetings of staff.

The hospital has set up a telemedicine option allowing patients to visit with medical personnel from their homes. The online $35 cash visit for urgent care simply sends a text to the patient's phone with a link they can click. "So far people have really loved this service," Allen stated.

AHS Chairman Jason Gaisford, speaking on behalf of the board said, "Thank you to Kandice (Allen) and Steve (Knox) and Rosemary (Herren), especially for all the help on that PPP (Payroll Protection Program), and to all the staff. This has been an adjustment, and I think that everybody has adjusted quite well, probably better than most of us in most things that we are doing. And just a big thank you, not only from us but from the community, for being there and being ready to do whatever it is we need to do."

"The community has been absolutely so supportive of our staff here and at the nursing home," Allen said. "They have provided supplies, food, encouragement and support. We are very blessed to have such a supportive community, and we really appreciate it."

CFO Steve Knox said, "I just want to second that. I've been really impressed with how the community has reacted. Obviously sheltering in place is working, and we just need to stay the course and we'll get through this. I've been very impressed with our staff and how they've handled all the adjustments that have been made and disruptions in their lives."

Other Business

Two appointments and one reappointment to courtesy staff were approved. Ben Hicks, MD, and Brian Robinson, MD, were appointed to courtesy staff. Charles Tucker, DDS, was reappointed.

Trustees approved changing A1C test processing from the in-house lab to DLO. Allen said it is very expensive to do in-house because of the lack of volume. Sending it outside to DLO will be less expensive.


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